Primate Pandemonium

At times when i’d be gardening, picking luscious blueberries to add to my morning yogurt, or just lounging around in the back yard my ears would turn to the most curious of sounds emanating from the house behind me. Sometimes it sounded somewhat like a dog’s bark, other times more like the cry of an infant. Whatever the call, the two monkeys birthing these sounds were indeed rascals. i’m not sure what type of primates these were, but i estimate the little poo-flingers were about 18 inches in height and weighed between 7-10 pounds.

Their cage butted against a window that was often open during nice weather, to which the simian scoundrels clung to and shook themselves with fury. i was glad they were safely behind thick wire and glass. Especially as they would keenly fix their eyes on my every move, observing me in my natural habitat …mowing the lawn.

Still, i never experienced what the good people of Fremont, Ohio had to endure as they suffered at the hands of one of these tiny tyrants. Last week, it took several police officers more than three hours and discharging of weapons to subdue the angsty anthropoid. …Really?!

Maybe i should change this to Wiersma Wednesday. Just a thought.

Slow news day in Fremont, OH or should there be a monkey business ban? Monkeys in your neighborhood? They’re certainly in mine.

~End brachiation~

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God Went Golfing.

Last Sunday was Father’s Day. The one day in the year specifically set aside for sons and daughters to dignify their sire with a Hallmark card, a neck tie, a family BBQ, an interrupted baseball game, or perhaps a day of fishing or a round on the links. But this Father’s Day, one Dad was missing …Abba.

No, not the Swedish pop group. Abba is an Aramaic term meaning father. ‘Abba’ is what a small child would call their daddy or papa, often used as a descriptor in the New Testament of the Bible by Jesus and His followers to infer to an intimate relationship with God (Mark 14.36; Romans 8.15; Galatians 4.6).

Now, when i say He was missing, i mean He was absent from The Pledge of Allegiance. It seems that during the beginning of NBC’s telecast of the US Open Golf Tournament they had a patriotic montage inter-cut with footage of school children reciting the American Pledge of Allegiance. However, the “under god” portion of the creed was deleted by editors.

There was mass outcry from viewers. Though, i’m not sure why. Originally the “under God” term was not in the 1892 declaration. President Eisenhower signed legislation concerning The Pledge in 1954, which added the two words.

Here’s why i’m not upset:

1. Though this nation was founded on principles of faith and by men of faith, who called themselves Christians, their practice of Christianity was often far from following the God that the Old and New Testaments characterize.

2. The god that people think of when they recite The Pledge of Allegiance could be any god they imagine: Hindu, Muslim, nothing, etc.

3. People have been omitting God from all kinds of things (especially their personal lives) for millennia.

4. i’m not under the delusion that this is truly a unified nation “under God.”

5. Despite what people may say or not say…  God is not going anywhere.

Whether He is acknowledged or not, God is still on the golf course. Just don’t expect him to shag your balls.

What are your thoughts on BBC’s choice to deliberately edit The Pledge?

~End mulligan~

Walmart… a nice place to shop(lift).

North Carolina is a beautiful state. Why else would it have a city called Eden: A veritable garden of lush vegetation, thriving fauna, and the finest of personal amenities anyone could hope to cull from their local Walmart. Well, at least it was for Amber Shaquille Duncan until she was caught pilfering from the retail giant.

People steal for many reasons, for money, or drug money, out of desire, need, survival, obsession or just for the thrill. With Amber, i’m not interested in her motivation as much as her application. Here is what Ms. Duncan lifted: a box of fruit snacks, a box of granola bars, a can of cashews (my favorite), a pack of water balloons, three water guns, and a home pregnancy test.

i have a pretty good idea why Amber swiped these particular items. i’d rather hear your reasoning.

What do you think the story is for Amber snitching these things?

~End heist~

Sometimes it’s just not worth the effort.

You know how it is when you really, really, really, desire something? There’s nothing that will stand in your way from reaching your goal and obtaining your dreams.

Well, a group of New York City dwellers found themselves coveting a bike. Not a shiny new gold plated hybrid mountain sportster, nor was it a finely tuned multi-gear racer. Nope! Just your ordinary Department Store $70 two wheeler. But nothing was going to stand in the way of of these ingenious ruffians from obtaining the object of their desire. Not even the tree it was chained to.

OK, be nice now… but what really spins through your mind when you saw these rocket scientists work their cunning thievery?

~End whack~

For What It’s Worth, Today’s Special Guest is…

...DocMartin (no, not the shoes, …different spelling). Roger Martin and i go back a few years. He is a Business Professor at Warner Pacific College. i asked Roger if i could re-post his thoughts from last week as they are along a theme that i have already posted on and have more on the way.

Take Care of the Little Things!

By Roger Martin

I love my morning coffee and newspapers. I get up around 5:30am and start my pot of coffee, pour my glass of orange juice, stick my bread in the toaster, and then run out and get my Columbian and Wall Street Journal (WSJ). I then spend the next two hours reading the newspapers. Sometimes there are articles in the Columbian that catch my attention, and other times it is the WSJ. Today it was both papers.

You may think it a bit strange that I am going to connect the Buffalo Springfield with Anthony Weiner, but I am going to write about both the band and the Representative in the same blog entry. The Buffalo Springfield was one of my favorite bands in the 60’s. Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young represented my heroes at the time. The song “For What Its Worth,” was a call to protest that all baby boomers paid attention to. Several of the original members are now dead, while Furay, Stills, and Young have just reunited and are touring. I would love to see them. I met Richie Furay at a Calvary Chapel pastors conference in Lake Arrowhead.

The comment however that stood out to me in this article was what Furay said to Young and Stills when the idea was brought up to tour together. Neil Young said they could get together either this year or next, and Furay stated at their ages they should do it now and not wait. I thought this was interesting. We do seem to put off things thinking we have time, but all of a sudden its gone.

Let me shift gears a bit and discuss Representative Weiner. I know there are going to be an incredible amount of jokes about this guy. The fact is habits that Anthony developed as a young single man continued on as he matured and eventually married. I cannot believe he thought that these indiscretions would go unnoticed? Somewhere along the line he lost something, something I would call disciplined thinking. Our society has lost the concept of discipline. How many rock stars die at an early age because they partied so much that they destroyed their bodies? How many politicians do stupid things thinking that no one would pay attention? We don’t think about consequences. If I do something, most of the time I don’t worry about what will happen later down the road? Action A will result in effect B. Effect B could be a cause to C, etc. Our actions do produce results that may, or may not, be considered good. This is especially true in how we think.

Descarte said “I think, therefore I am.” Scripture tells us we should bring all thoughts into captivity of Christ. There is value to this disciplined process of managing where our minds go. We wake up one morning and realize my gosh I’ve gained 20 pounds. How did I get here? We wake up one morning and say, why did I send all those pictures to people I don’t even know. Or one morning we wake up and we’ve missed an opportunity to play a concert with friends. Our society is losing something that was important in the past. In our modern society we focus on video games and self-gratification, and because of this we are losing the value of disciplined living and thinking. We are becoming a modern Rome. We don’t watch what we eat, pornography is rampant on our TV, and we play endless amounts of video games rather than read. It makes me think about the guy standing on the corner with a sign that states “The End of the World is Near.” All because we failed to maintain a disciplined thought life. What do you think about this?

And that is my thought for the day!

Separation of Church and State

i spent the age of twenty to forty in vocational ministry. Most of this time as a Pastor in mega churches. i encountered many types of Christians every day. Most of these would consider themselves to be people who believe the Bible, taking it at face value. They would also say that they live out what they believe on a daily basis. A large part of my role as Pastor was to encourage people to live out their faith in a real manner wherever they may be, whatever they may be doing.

At forty years old i found myself beginning a business career. Looking back over this time, there have been amazing situations that have occurred. Outside of the “church” bubble I’ve made some great relationships and God has used me in these people’s lives in fascinating ways. I have had the opportunity to counsel, encourage, and even pray with business associates to enter a relationship with God through His Son’s sacrifice. These work place “ministry” encounters occur quite often.

So… why, in decades of being a pastor and dealing with literally thousands of “Christians” who are living on the outside of a “Christian” aquarium, have i rarely heard about the types of accounts in the work place and daily life as i have personally experienced in a few short years? Is it because these situations find me; or i’m seeking them out; or i’m more sensitive to seeing them? i don’t think so.

There appear to be two major issues at work: complacency and compartmentalization. Perhaps there are many Christians who are sensitive to opportunity to minister the love of God to others on the job or in the grocery store. Yet, they feel inadequate to take action, or just don’t care enough to act or speak boldly in love. Others, it would seem, segregate their Christian world view at home and church from who they are in the work place, or out and about.

i was recently watching an old Billy Graham crusade. He addressed this same issue several decades ago. Mr. Graham inferred that many of us call ourselves “Christian,” go to church, talk the talk, but when it comes down to it we really don’t live like we believe the Scripture, that God is real. He used the illustration that we should imagine the risen Christ, Jesus the Son of God, as being literally at our side in all that we do.

What Billy Graham was really getting at was the essence of coram Deo, a Latin term meaning “being before the face of God,” living as if God’s very presence were literally before us: He is sitting beside us at work; enjoying our meals with us; cheering on our favorite team next to us in the stadium.

i think this is a similar concept that Paul refers to in 1 Thessalonians 5.17 when he refers to “pray without ceasing.” Paul’s point is that we continually direct our thoughts to God. Similarly, coram Deo looks to direct our speech and action as if God were literally beside us. If this were the case, how would our actions and reactions change in our day to day existence? How would our life perspective be transformed? How would our preconception of others be altered?

How would your relationships change if you lived coram Deo? What would be different at work, with your neighbors, family, friends?

~End insulation~

What i Forgot (about Memorial Day)

With roots shortly following the Civil War, with over 600,000 lives lost, a day was later formally recognized to honor those who had given all in that great conflict, both blue and gray. Since the establishment of Memorial Day, it has come to be recognized to honor all that have fallen in service to protect the interests of freedoms and liberties of the United States of America.

As one who follows and believes in the God of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, i also like to remember those who have lost their lives through the ages for their spiritual beliefs and faith that Jesus is the Son of God. May we remember and honor the fallen as we enjoy or mini-cations, impromptu barbeques and weekend gatherings. More importantly, may we remember to carry on standing, representing, and preserving everything for which they sacrificed their lives.

~End observance~